They represent more than 1% of humanity: nearly 80 million people, a record figure, were forced to leave their homes to flee violence and persecution and are now living away from home, according to the UN.
The last report of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published Thursday, estimated that by the end of 2019 approximately 79.5 million people were refugees, asylum seekers or people who are “uprooted” in their own countries, with fewer prospects of returning to their region of origin.
“One percent of the world’s population cannot return home because of war, persecution, human rights violations and other forms of violence,” notes the head of the UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, in an interview with the AFP.
“This is a trend observed since 2012: the figures are higher than the previous year,” says Filippo Grandi, for that this means “that there has been more conflict, more violence”.
This can also be translated “political solutions” insufficient initiated in order to bring an end to the attacks chasing people from their homes and preventing them from returning.
Ten years ago, the number of displaced persons was 40 million, he recalled. “So it has doubled. And we don’t see the trend slowing down”.
The UNHCR report shows that 45.7 million people had fled to other regions of their country, 26 million were refugees living outside the borders of their country.
Some 4.2 million were asylum-seekers, to which were added 3.6 million Venezuelans accounted for separately.
“The international community is so divided, so unable to make peace that, unfortunately, the situation will continue to worsen, and I fear much that the next year is even worse than this year”, is cause for alarm Mr. Grown up.
The problem pandemic
Only for the years 2019, the UNHCR reported 11 million more displaced, in large part, in a small number of countries in the throes of war.
Among them Syria, devastated by nine years of armed conflict, and which account for 13.2 million people displaced in or outside the country, one-sixth of the total.
No less than 68% of all refugees surveyed in the world come from five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Burma.
In the clear: “if the international community succeeds in finding the unity, the political will and the resources to help these countries exit the crisis and to rebuild, most likely we would have resolved more than half of the world’s problems” in relation to refugees, he states.
If the report does not discuss the emergence of the pandemic of novel coronavirus in the issue of the displaced, adding to the distress of the persons concerned, in a context where it repeats that “move has consequences on oneself and on others”.
And the economic impact of the pandemic is dramatic in poor countries or in the process of development.
“What we have seen increase dramatically, it is poverty”, the containment does not allow many of the displaced to find alternative sources of income, according to him.
In these circumstances, and despite the restrictions on mobility, the country must continue to grant asylum to those who need it.
“Unfortunately, people continue to flee their homes, because a pandemic or not, they are threatened […] and they are always in need of a refuge, of protection, of the asylum,” insists the head of the UNHCR.